Shortline Lake plays host to water ski clinic & tournament

The Royce Andes Western Region Disabled Water Ski Clinic and Tournament was held June 8-9 at Shortline Lake in Elk Grove, providing an optimal waterskiing experience as the lake and dock were seamless to the wheelchair users. 

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NorCal SCI Samurai, Char Vine, was also there to try out water-skiing for the first time since her injury in 2000.  “I was nervous with all the new hardware in my back, but Matt and Connor spent time understanding my needs and set up a rig that put minimal strain on my back and provided maximum fun,” said Char.  “I felt really supported and encouraged by the family friendly group as I got up on the water and was able to get a feel for the sport again. It was a blast and entertaining to watch everyone going for it. I’ll attend again, for sure.”

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The day fee covered breakfast, lunch, insurance, equipment, tow boat, and support, a great deal for only $35. There were a dozen or so people skiing with a range of challenges including amputees, SCI, Spina Bifida and other neurological disorders. Ability First is a wheelchair sports program that helps with running the event by providing dozens of different skiing apparatuses and the staff. There were about fifteen volunteers who were knowledgeable, patient and safety conscious which provided a relaxing experience. The whole group was full of good vibes and enthusiastic to encourage which made for a lot of fun.

The entertainment ramped up when former World Cup Champion Connor Poggetto got into his sit ski and showed off some of his signature tricks. Friday was for new skiers or for practice. Saturday was the Western Regional Championships, tournament-style hosted by CARDS which was open to all levels of competitors. There was an exciting run off for 2nd place between Jeff and Doug with Jeff prevailing.  Check out the rest of the results below. This event is held annually in Elk Grove and if you’re interested in trying it out before then, contact Matthew Oberholtz at (530) 990-3331 or at obeskischool@yahoo.com

Results of the CARDS Fun Tournament:
1st Place: Romeo Capell
2nd place: Jeff Compatore
3rd Place: Doug Pratt

REGIONAL WINNERS:
Slalom:

1st Place: Mike Pingatore
2nd Place: Connor Poggetto
3rd Place: Elisha Nelson

Tricks:
1st Place: Connor Poggetto
2nd Place: Mike Pingatore
3rd Place: Elisha Nelson

Jump & Overall Tournament Winner:
Connor Poggetto